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I know, this sounds like a bad thing for the oft-injured San Diego Chargers....and it is! However, the Chicago Bears might be equally injured!
I mean, not in terms of quantity, but quality! Matt Forte, who is probably the Bears' best offensive player, is expected to miss this game with a knee injury. Eddie Royal, who was getting ready for revenge against the Chargers, is also expected to miss the game with a knee injury. These are good things, if you're rooting for the Chargers to win.
The Chargers have not been very good this year, but they haven't had a lot of luck with the schedule, either. of the six different teams that they have lost to this season, four of them would be in the playoffs if the season ended today. A fifth, the Pittsburgh Steelers, would be the 7th seed (the first team to miss the playoffs) despite having a better record than the current AFC South division leader.
Point is, the Chargers haven't been losing to bad teams. They did get victories against the Lions and Browns, who are the two worst teams they've played this season. Mike McCoy's team is not very good, so they struggle to beat good teams, and there have been a lot of good teams on the roster.
The Bears are not a good team. In fact, they're ranked as the 29th most efficient team in the league by Football Outsiders, only beating out the Lions, Texans and 49ers. The Chargers should be able to win this week's game.
Nothing to Lose / That's So Chargers
When Ben Higgins and I were discussing how to fix the Chargers earlier this week, we talked about how the team has nothing left to lose. Perhaps that can be the straw that breaks the camel's back, pushing Mike McCoy the way it pushed Ron Rivera to become less conservative. That would certainly help the team's chance to win, if the coach were suddenly coaching in a way that positively affects the outcome of the game instead of in a way that negatively affects it.
However, something that would be "so Chargers", something that we should come to expect from this team after watching how they behave in these situations over the last few decades, would be Mike McCoy not changing a damn thing and the team suddenly going on a winning streak.
Not, you know, a winning streak that gets the team back into the playoffs. One that gets the team up to 7-9 and convinces everyone that the team (and McCoy) are better than they are. That, "had they just gotten off to a better start, they'd be in the playoffs."
Doesn't that just sound like something the Chargers would do and then say? I think so too. That's why I think the second half of the season will include the Chargers beating any bad team they face, starting with the Bears.